White Memorial Fountain

Location: Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland

In 1892, the White family donated a drinking fountain to the town of Denny. It was erected near Denny Old Parish Church at Broad Street in the junction of Denny Cross.

Two years later, a family member, Mr. James B. White, gave £100 to the Town Council to create a fund from which the accrued interest would pay for annual maintenance of the cast iron fountain.

The relevance of the drinking fountain declined in the early 20th century when it became an obstruction due to an increase in motor traffic, and the waning use of the structure as a source of water. In 1940, Mr. W. T. White of Fort Wayne, Indiana, the only living relative of the donor, was contacted for permission to remove the fountain due to the urgent national need for iron for the war effort. The fountain was removed in 1941.

The fountain manufactured by Messrs. Steven Bros. & Co. of the Milton Ironworks, Glasgow and London (later to be known as McDowall, Steven & Co.’s Milton Works), was from a lamppost design by Charles Henry Driver, an architect and engineer. The structure was seated on a square stone plinth.

A square base housed small demi-lune basins at ground level for dogs, and on four sides a large quatrefoil basin for horses was fed with overflow water. The highly decorated stanchion and central column were decorated with acanthus and floral relief. Lion mascarons, a symbol of guardianship, spouted water from which humans drank using metal cups suspended on consoles. A dolphin, symbolizing guardians of water, flanked each side of the stanchion.

The base of the lamp column contained four mascarons crowned with a shell motif. A Corinthian column supported a central gas lantern surmounted with a knob finial. By 1917 the central lamp had been replaced by three smaller globes. A dedication plaque contained an inscription acknowledging that the fountain had been presented by the White Family.

Sco_Broad st Denny

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Column Corinthian, a fluted shaft with flowers and leaves at the capital.
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support

 

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